Animal Attraction (Film Thoughts: We The Animals)

We-The-Animals-movie-posterI remember reading the book “We the Animals’ is based on, but for the life of me I could not remember anything about it plot. (I had to refresh my memory by reading my reading my review of it ) Now comes Jeremiah Zagar’s film from te same source. And at first, I really wasn’t feeling the film. It has a gauzy dream-like feel, like it was filmed via a vintage Instagram filter. I also thought the style was a bit self-indulgent – some have compared it to Terence Malick’s. But after a while, I got used to its pace, and its unique editing. and also by the good performances, especially by Evan Rosado, who plays Jonah, the youngest child. Jonah has just turned ten years old, but the film explores how at that age, one starts to explore their sexuality.  At first I was a little taken aback by this (at ten?) but then this really feels very true. It is at that stage wherein you really do not know how to sort your feelings. In the film, he starts to develop an attraction to a blond kid, and it is clear that he starts to both acknowledge and fear his feelings (Rosado is particularly good in these scenes)  I just read in my review of the book that I was a bit surprised that it was filed under gay fiction, and I have the same question here – is this considered a ‘gay’ film? But then does that genre still exist? The gay here is very subtle, almost an aside, but still very significant in how the whole plot is explored. I don’t know if I even like the film, but it certainly challenged me.

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